Set Dec

June 11, 2011.

Tyson Laidler

Filming is done but there’s still plenty to talk about. While the Hospital scenes didn’t need much work, Rowan’s bedroom required some planning and the most decorating. First I did some quick concept drawings of what the bedroom would generally look like. Keeping in mind what props were required and which others were optional but available, I figured his room would look somewhat old fashioned and classy. The only props I actually bought were the Hemlock vase (a green one) and a wooden box for the individual rat bones provided by Nicole. Everything else was free, including the rat/mole skeletons (thank you biology department) and other items of interest. Nathan brought in a book shelf that we placed in the frame, and a bunch of people brought philosophy books and old analog cameras to place on the shelves. I used two paintings I created a few years ago as background props as well. The skeletons were also placed on the shelves. Colleen made available an old TV with VCR for Rowan’s desk, which sat in between the bone box and Hemlock vase. Connor had a collection of photo’s pasted on the wall by his door, so I quickly borrowed a coat rack, placed a trench coat on it, and stuck it in place to hide them.

Shooting the scene went on for an entire day, and that bedroom got super humid and stunk of university students by the time we were done. The furniture items mentioned shifted position because the RED camera needed room behind the desk for panning shots. I had first thought that we would need the entire room to be decorated, but in the end we only shot half of the space.


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Avec du fromage!

Day two of production is over and in just a few hours we’ll do it all over again! It’s just coming up to 3:30am, which means that I have been up for 20 hours straight. (Cooking’s all fine and dandy. It’s the dishes that break you.) I’m dead on my feet but feeling pretty proud of myself. There were no huge hitches on set today, at least not in terms of food. Just after dinner we decided to embrace going slightly over budget because we ran out of snacks to keep people trucking along in between meals. But lucky for us, because of the generosity of the University and the frugality (and luck) of other departments in the production, we had a little leeway. So even that doesn’t really count as an official hitch. Tomorrow (though really, later today) should be a lot of fun because I did most of the necessary prep work today. Which means I’ll be able to step out of the kitchen and assist in the production! After  the evening snacks were looked after I got to take a break (my first and only all day) and watch the goings-on. Once the Tylenol kicked in (oh man were my legs aching away), it was all pretty amazing. Everyone was doing something! Even those of us who were able to take it easy were watching and learning and pitching in to create and maintain the awesome creative vibe in the room.
I hope to spend a great deal more time in that space for the rest of the production.
Cross my fingers!
Bonne nuit-

Chef Wil

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Hi! My name’s Marynia (but everyone calls me Wil) and I’m in charge of catering for “How Socrates Bought the Farm.” This means that I have to organize two breakfasts and two dinners and snacks for the 20 members of cast and crew working on set. Yesterday I spent just over $220 on groceries at two different stores but that didn’t stop me from needing to make a quick dash back to Thrifty’s on my way to set this morning for a few forgotten items. I woke up this morning at 7:30am and started mixing the pancake batter for the 11am breakfast. I made apple, banana, and chocolate chip pancakes! So from 11am to just after noon I was pouring and flipping and I could barely keep up. As soon as breakfast was done and dishes were washed I got straight to cutting up the fruits and veggies and laying out the snack food to tide people over until the 6pm dinner. Then I hopped in my friend Christina’s 4Runner and zooped on down to Cook Street Village to start work on the tacos I’ll be serving at 6pm this evening and tomorrow’s dinner (chilli). It’s been quite the mad scramble but I’ve finally gotten a second to sit down and so here I am typing away my adventures as an inexperienced caterer. : )
But I’ve already learned a few things today that will apply nicely to tomorrow.
1) Make breakfast in advance so that you can sit down and join your buddies while they feast, otherwise you land up slaving in the kitchen trying desperately to keep up with your friends’ hungry tummies and you can’t partake in any of the morning banter.
2) Before using any pots and pants, double check if any actually have sensible heat resistant handles, because otherwise you might assume they do and when you go to pick up that pot your professor lent you, your fingers will melt to it. 😀
3) Wear comfy shoes because you will be on your feet all day.
4) Don’t turn your back on anything for even a second. IT WILL BURN.
5) Most importantly, budget extra time for everything! Cooking for twenty takes a long time.
6) And this one’s important! Be prepared to be adored, honoured, thanked, hugged, massaged, and generally appreciated by all. Even more so if you’re providing food to a bunch of poor students and even poorer artists.

I gotta run! Tacos are up in under 2 hours and I have quite a bit to do before serving up the feast.

~ Chef Wil

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First Day of Shooting

June 6th, 2011.
Tyson Laidler

Began and finished shooting the hospital scene yesterday. In terms of set design and decorating, very little was required as the location already supplied all our props (except the pudding cup and spoon). Some items within the classroom were moved around in the area of filming, such as the training dummy, bed-side curtains, and some furniture pieces. I also helped with and observed the RED camera being assembled and dis-assembled. The shoot was simple and relatively quick, I didn’t think it was too strenuous, although for others, some moments got complicated with Dan’s hand-held shots (or shoulder-held shots?) since the RED is a heavy piece of equipment. I found out at 1:00 am this morning that I had left an equipment bag in my Van, so fearing it could be stolen I had to tip-toe out in my PJ’s and grab it.

No doubt the scenes at Connor’s house will really test us, especially us art department people. Thankfully, most of the important props have been found, and I quickly drew the layout of Rowan’s room. I got the rat and mole skeletons from the biochemistry department, and just today I drove out to Dallas road and snipped some flower clusters that resemble Hemlock (which proceeded to irritate my allergies something awful on the way back). I’ll also acquire some more philosophy books from Uvic tomorrow.

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The Journey Begins…

Welcome to the website for How Socrates Bought the Farm.  In the coming weeks, the Writing 320 class at the University of Victoria will be producing this short film, and posting all sorts of material on it right here.  So try to keep up.  It’s going to be a fun ride.

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